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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 3 May 2007) . . Page.. 987 ..

ACT governance

MR PRATT (Brindabella) (6.17): Tonight I rise to talk about good governance and the look of the ACT landscape. I have a question about just how good Mr Stanhope’s good governance is. Today the Chief Minister was bragging about his wonderful initiatives in the arts programs here in the ACT. I think he said they were the best initiatives taken for quite some time, or something like that. I wonder whether he meant graffiti art, Mr Speaker. Is that what he was talking about?

The urban landscape is a disgrace. Private property and public property are adorned with so-called graffiti art and art murals. Let me table an interesting photograph which is a bit of a double whammy. Here we have a great example of the Chief Minister’s good governance in the promotion of graffiti art. Indeed, we have the Chief Minister’s arboretum sign well and truly graffitied. I seek leave to table this photograph.

Ms Gallagher: What is it of?

MR PRATT: It is a photograph of the arboretum sign graffiti which I think is a disgrace. It needs to be recorded in this place.

Leave not granted.

MR PRATT: Mr Speaker, let it be recorded—let it be known—that the government members were shaking in their boots and too frightened to see the by-product of the Chief Minister’s encouragement of “art” in the ACT.

I now turn to a great example of good governance in the desecration of Woden cemetery. As a consequence of the “good governance” of Mr Stanhope and Mr Hargreaves, we have an apparent lunatic decision to approve an “art mural”—graffiti art—on the Justinian Street bridge at Eddison Park, which is the entrance way to the Woden cemetery. Let me read a small sample of letters in support of my action to remove that. One reads:

I, like many residents in Canberra, have loved ones interred in Woden Cemetery and I am deeply offended by the actions of some officious bureaucrat giving approval to the spraying of graffiti at the entrance to the cemetery, which is what Justinian Street is. How dare they?

That is from a lady who visits the cemetery regularly. And there was this letter to the Canberra Times:

I am grateful to Pratt for removing the graffiti art from the entrance to the cemetery, an obscenity promoted by some and endorsed by the Stanhope government as art. This is no place to promote this kind of vandalism.

Another writer says:

Canberra is a beautiful city that is tarnished by the amount of graffiti on public buildings and road signs. A simple drive to work in the morning and we are presented with some absolutely disgusting scribble by people who believe it is their democratic right to scrawl on someone else’s property.

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